I’m fond of saying that a patent is like a poker hand. You can win a game of poker with a great hand and you can also bluff and win with bad hand, but you can’t win with no hand. So patents, even bad ones, can sometimes generate a win for their owners, even when they are at best dubious.
I received an email this morning regarding the invention and recent granting of a patent for a “cellphone changing an electronic display that contains a barcode”.
I know some folks think I’m opinionated about some things, especially when it comes to the use of QR Codes in DOOH, so it will come as no surprise if I say (again) that:
Putting an oh-too-small QR code on digital signage for oh-too-little time and ooh-too-far-away is a waste of pixels!
Even if a user can draw their phone from their pocket faster than the Lone Ranger AND have a QR Code app ready to launch AND and be close enough to the screen scan the code BEFORE the campaign spot changes, the campaign better deliver something so damn valuable that it pays for someone (not counting anyone at the network, brand or the agency) to do exactly that.
AND even if a patent application for doing exactly that kind of thing was applied for in say May 2011 , I’m surprised the patent office didn’t site prior art AND GRANTED PATENTS from 2004 that disclose:
A system and method of interactive, location based and presentation and advertising that enables users with wireless network addressable communications device to control multi-media content on network addressable screens and enables marketers to track, monitor and respond to users interactions in real-time. A Proxy Gateway directs a network addressable client PC, connected to a digital display, to serve a local content or pull content from one or more web servers. A wireless, network addressable device, typically a mobile phone, is used to communicate commands to the physically remote Proxy Gateway, The proxy Gateway bridges between the communications device, forwarding them to the client PC which may pull content from the appropriate web server or display native message content.
Even ignoring the above IP, leading “practitioners in the field” continue to leverage interactive OOH/DOOH techniques proven to engage the casual onlooker. I guess the patent office doesn’t read search the DailyDOOH or other stalwarts of our digital signage industry.